Caspar Georg Carl Reinwardt

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Caspar G. C. Reinwardt.

Caspar Georg Carl Reinwardt (5 June 1773 in Lüttringhausen – 6 March 1854 in Leiden) was a Prussian-born Dutch botanist. He is considered to be the founding father of Bogor Botanical Garden in Indonesia.


Lithograph of Lily pond and fountain at the Bogor Botanical Gardens, 1880s
Photograph of Lily pond and fountain at the Bogor Botanical Gardens, 2014

During his early life in 1787 he became an apprentice of an alchemist, in an Amsterdam laboratory where his brother worked. He came in contact with several scientist, including the botanist Gerardus Vrolik. He had his education at the Athenaeum where he successfully engaged in the study chemistry and botany.

During the French occupation of Netherlands he served as a professor of natural history at the University of Harderwijk from 1800 to 1808. He gradually become associate professor of chemistry and pharmacy. In 1808 he appealed to king Louis Bonaparte and was offered to work as director of the "to be built" botanical, zoological garden and museums. In 1808 he became member of the Royal Institute of the Netherlands.[1] And in 1810 just before the king returned to France, he became professor of natural history in Amsterdam. After the French was defeated in the Napoleonic war, the Netherlands are eager to make contact with its colony. In 1816 he was offered a position as head of agriculture, arts and science of the colony, and journeyed to the East Indies where he conducted various botanical investigations throughout the archipelago. Reinwardt was the founder (1817) and first director of botanic garden at Bogor (Buitenzorg) in Java. There he gathered and cultivated various flora from the surrounding islands such as the Moluccas, Timor and Sulawesi.[2]

Reinwardt also undertook several expeditions to collect plants that were sent to the Hortus Botanicus Leiden. However, not many of these plants survived the journey from Java to the Netherlands. He remained as director of the Botanic Garden until 1821 and spent most of his time gathering tropical plants. He returned to the Netherlands in 1822 and became a professor of natural history at the University of Leiden in 1823, where he devoted his life to chemistry, botany and mineralogy.[3]

Reinwardt also studied amphibians and reptiles, describing two new species of snakes, Laticauda semifasciata and Xenopeltis unicolor.[4]

In 1831 Reinwardt published a catalog of the plants growing in the Leiden Hortus. He counted exactly 5,600 species and varieties, an increase of nearly 600 since 1822. In particular, the numbers of Australian, Chinese and Japanese plants had increased. This increase in number of varieties are largely contributed by Philipp Franz von Siebold who sent many plants to Hortus Botanicus Leiden.

Reinwardt finally retired as a professor in 1845 and died nine years later, he was succeeded by Willem Hendrik de Vriese.

Nepenthes reinwardtiana


The botanical journal Reinwardtia (ISSN 0034-365X) from Bogor Botanical Gardens, Indonesia, is named in his honour.[5] The Reinwardt Academy, the faculty of museology and cultural heritage of the Amsterdam School for the Arts, is also named after Reinwardt.

Reinwardt is honored in some scientific names. The genus Reinwardtia was named after him by Barthélemy Charles Joseph Dumortier, and the species Nepenthes reinwardtiana was named after him by Friedrich Anton Wilhelm Miquel.[6]

A journal of plant taxonomy Reinwardtia published by Herbarium Bogoriense in Java, Indonesia is named after him.


On 16 May 2006 a monument of Reinwardt is placed in Bogor Botanical Garden by Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) to celebrate its 189th anniversary. The monument was built at the initiative of the German Botanist, Herwig Zahorka.[7]

Eponymous taxa[edit]

Some of the taxa (botanical and zoological) that honor him are listed below:[3][6]

Selected works[edit]

  • "Hepaticae Javanicae : editae conjunctis studiis et opera", 1824 (with Carl Ludwig Blume; Christian Gottfried Daniel Nees von Esenbeck).
  • Über den Charakter der Vegetation auf den inseln des Indischen Archipels, 1828.
  • "Musci frondosi Iavanici", 1828 (with Christian Friedrich Hornschuch).
  • "Enumeratio plantarum quae in horto Lugduno-Batavo coluntur", 1831.
  • "Plantae Indiae Batavae Orientalis : quas, in itinere per insulas archipelagi indici Javam, Amboinam, Celebem, Ternatam, aliasque, annis 1815-1821 exploravit Casp. Georg. Carol. Reinwardt" (edited and published by Willem Hendrik de Vriese in 1856).
  • "The correspondence of Caspar Georg Carl Reinwardt (1773-1854)" (In English, with Teunis Willem van Heiningen).[8]



  1. ^ "Caspar Georg Carel Reinwardt (1773 - 1854)". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  2. ^ ADB: Reinwardt, Kaspar George Karl @ Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie
  3. ^ a b BHL Taxonomic literature : a selective guide to botanical publications
  4. ^ "Reinwardt". The Reptile Database.
  5. ^ HathiTrust Digital Library Reinwardtia
  6. ^ a b JSTOR Global Plants Reinwardt, Caspar George Carl (1773-1854)
  7. ^ Caspar Georg Karl Reinwardt (*5 Juni 1733 – † 6 Maret 1854),
  8. ^ WorldCat Search published works
  9. ^ IPNI.  Reinw.